Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Monday, June 27, 2011


Are you acquainted with Lauren Child?  She is one of my favorite author/illustrators of contemporary children's picture books.  Her quirky humor and unique collage-style art draw kids and adults alike to her books.  You can read about her journey in becoming a best-selling children's book author HERE, in the British newspaper THE GUARDIAN.

I thought this photo of her kitchen was cute.  She says, "My mother used to have this joke with me when I was little that I used to arrange things in my room to look like a shop window, and when she came in here she said I still haven't grown out of it."

Writer and illustrator Lauren Child's kitchen. Photograph: Beth Evans
I was introduced to Lauren's fun books by my library side-kick, 5-year-old Sophie and her mom.  We've read several Lauren Child books together and I look forward to sharing them with you in my posts this week.

Here's the first one Sophie introduced me to:
BEWARE OF THE STORYBOOK WOLVES “It’s bad news for a boy named Herb when the Big Bad Wolf and a little not-so-bad wolf fall out of a storybook, drooling and hungry. Thank goodness for fairy godmothers. After all, who else can bring the big wolf down to size and turn the little wolf into a fashion plate? If all that sounds silly, it is. It’s meant to be, in Beware of the Storybook Wolves. With a sly wit and a handful of evocative characters, Lauren Child takes the familiar “once upon a time” story, shakes it and then spins it for a giggle. Imagine Mother Goose meeting Roald Dahl’s “Enormous Crocodile.” The result is a smile-provoking yarn full of fairy-tale twists.”-- The New York Times

If your kids like this kind of wacky humor, they'll like Child's second book about Herb:

WHO'S AFRAID OF THE BIG BAD BOOK? "When Herb falls asleep with his head on top of a dusty book of fairy tales, he finds himself stuck inside the volume with no quick way out. Chased by a raging Goldilocks, who is upset that he landed in her story, the boy journeys through a parade of fairy tales and finally gets caught in the middle of "Cinderella." All of his past mishandling of the book comes back to haunt him-Cinderella's kitchen is sticky with cookie crumbs, the Queen does not appreciate the mustache Herb has drawn on her face, and Prince Charming has been missing since he was cut out of the book and used as a birthday-card decoration. Child's wildly expressive collages include boldly patterned backgrounds, cartoon characters, and photographs in unexpected places. The text (and font) grows and shrinks and winds jaggedly through the story, and turns upside down on several pages. This fast-paced creative tale has some really funny moments." - Library School Journal 


  1. I am SO excited that you are blogging about her books! She is my favorite children's authors - hands down. Looking forward to your other posts!

  2. Thanks, "Sophie's MOMMY", for introducing me to the genius, art, and humor that are L.C.

  3. ooo...can't wait! i love books that are pleasant to read aloud as well as move in all directions on the page. it's fun to see topher giggle at the wild direction of the writing. i'll look for these

  4. I will never, not ever, eat a tomato!

    Lauren speaks the language of a child.

  5. She sure does! Her Charlie and Lola titles are all so hilarious (they're coming tomorrow). :)

  6. She inspires me...I would like to be like her...I love the textures, sweaters that looks knit, corduroy pants, flower patterned dresses...along with her whimsical drawings! AND I must've missed your visit to the library with Sophie...great photos! I'm glad I got to see the photos of her with the rabbit...and her selection of books. I love Skippyjon Jones, too.

  7. Ah, Skippyjon! I'll have to blog about him (unless you'd like to do a guest post for me!!) Let me know - you have my email (and fb info). Thanks Martha. :)